Rumor Mill: AT&T preps internal systems for family data plans

AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) is changing its internal customer management systems to prepare for the launch of family data plans, according to the blog Engadget, the latest indication that the nation's major carriers are laying the groundwork for such billing changes.

The blog, which cited a screenshot of a memorandum about AT&T's internal customer management system powered by Telegence, noted that a new group-level data feature option will be added to family plans "in preparation for the launch of Shared Data." The memo notes that in addition to an option for voice plans, a data option "will be used to support future Shared Data product offerings." As Engadget notes, however, no timetable was set for the introduction of such features.

An AT&T spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. However, in January, AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega said that the carrier was still working out the details of family data plans. "We're still working on that," he told AllThingsD. "It just takes a little more time than we all would want it to take. But sometimes it's better to make sure you take your time and get it right."

Recently, there have been indications that Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) has started internal billing training for family data plans. Last month Engadget posted what it said was a screenshot of an internal Verizon billing system describing "account level data plans." The blog said the updates include an account-level charge for data allowance and a fee of $9.99 per line, but the report noted that there is no word yet on when such changes might be implemented. Verizon has said it intends to launch such plans later this year but has not said when or in what form. 

For more:
- see this Engadget post

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